‘Embrace the big occasion’ – AB tells teammates

AB de Villiers celebrates his 17th Century with JP Duminy at the crease. *Photo: Cricket South Africa Facebook Page
AB de Villiers celebrates his 17th Century with JP Duminy at the crease. *Photo: Cricket South Africa Facebook Page

The match has been touted as the big clash of the Group B heavyweights, and will be a lively challenge for the Proteas in front of an expected sell-out crowd, the majority of whom will be supporting India.

“I’m quite happy that it’s going to be packed,” De Villiers said on Saturday.

“The last few games that we played here it wasn’t full, it almost felt wrong. You almost get lost out in the middle because it’s so big so it’s nice to know that it’s going to be chock-a-block tomorrow.

“I have always enjoyed big crowds, busy games with intensity; it will get the blood flowing playing in front of a big crowd in a big stadium with great tradition and history. We love playing the big games; nothing has changed so we are all looking forward to it.”

The result won’t have a direct impact on the Proteas’ progression to the next round, but De Villiers is adamant his team is chasing nothing less than a victory.

“Every game that we play we want to win,” he said.

“We don’t know what is going to happen in the next four games that we play, it could be make or break. All I know is that we want to win the game, we have prepared in order for us to win, we are as ready as we can be so we are going to go out there and give it our best shot tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, Mike Hussey says he has been impressed by the warm welcome from the Proteas camp, and praised the culture and nurturing environment created amongst the group.

“I think the thing that has really stood out for me is that there are no egos or arrogance in the team,” he said.

“It’s very much a family team; everyone treats each other with a lot of respect. It must be great for a young player to come in because they feel accepted from the word go.

“In some teams that I have come from there have been big names, big egos and personalities, although I’m not saying that it’s necessarily a bad thing. It’s just different and refreshing to come into an environment where you feel respected right from the start.”

Catch the Proteas against India from 05:00 local time in their Group B clash.

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